Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin on Tuesday constituted an ad-hoc panel of five parliamentary committees to probe the activities of the National Food Buffer Stock Company and the National School Feeding Programme.
He said the mandate of the committees was among others to investigate the feasibility and sustainability of the organisations, especially in recent times when there were reports of food shortage in Senior High Schools and the demand from school feeding caterers for an increment in the cost of feeding students.
Speaker Bagbin gave these directives to Parliament following his visit to the organisations on June 23, 2022.
In constituting the committees, the Speaker said: “Let me once more reiterate that the School Feeding Programme provides great potential. It is therefore critical that we address issues regarding the efficient implementation of the programme while instituting measures to avert a possible occurrence in the future.”
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Schools in the Upper West Region last week notified that Senior High Schools in the region may soon shut down if the government failed to supply them with adequate foodstuff to feed students.
“It came out that the food suppliers contracted by Buffer Stock Company and those local suppliers contacted to help out are all refusing to supply due to non-payment of outstanding monies owed for food supplied to the schools.
“This has led to serious food shortages in all the schools in the region. An assessment of the situation indicated that most schools cannot go beyond one week if nothing urgent is done about it,” a statement from the Upper West branch of CHASS complained.
Mr Angel Carbornu, President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), blamed the Government for the food shortages.
He said the current centralised system that authorised only the National Buffer Stock to distribute food to Senior High Schools had largely contributed to food shortages in various schools.
According to him, a decentralisation of food distribution to Senior High Schools would address the challenges.
By Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA